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traveling for work, and, well, my downright stress-causing husband - Page 2

post #21 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
I do have friends. Good friends. At least 3 good friends, and, I don't know 10 or 20 fairly good acquaintances that I've known for a long time.

But these are people with their own young children.

It's one thing to be friends, and pitch in during an emergency. Could I spend the night at their house if DH flips out or, knock on wood, our house burns down? Yes. They would be there in a heartbeat.

Can I live with them for a couple of months, or weeks, while I get on my feet? No. And I wouldn't ask them. It would be imposing on them and they have lots of their own issues (not like mine, but different).

Do I have friends who can babysit a few hours? Yes, of course. And they do. Do I have friends with whom I can leave my child for 3 days while I travel for work, expecting them to pick up and drop off at day care. No. And I wouldn't ask them. That would be a major imposition.

I do have friends. But friends are not my parents. It's not that I just need to work on building relationships.

I had a great relationship with both of my parents for decades while I was the giver and the provider. Groceries. Gas. Clothing. Money. You name it, they needed it, and I gave it. I could not sustain that. So, even when I did see and talk to them, they weren't helping me one bit. Neither showed up for my college graduation and that was years before I had drew that line in the sand. Granted, I still love one parent dearly and have a good relationship, it's just very one-sided and I know that is all it can ever be.

As I've said before, I spent decade helping my parents and my family. And, you know what? When I had my one and only baby, via emergency c-section, and really needed help, there was NO ONE there. No one. And it wasn't because of my attitude or because I hadn't reached out to people.

Were my friends going to take off work for a week for me after my c-section? That really isn't a friend's role, traditionally, and I don't think they really understood that I had no one because 1) my parents are alive and 2) not too many people have parents as bad off and dysfunctional as mine.

I'm not religious. I did not grow up in a church or religious environment (as you might suspect, given even the short description of my parents). I am not going to join a church to make connections because I don't have a personal religion. I would be using them, and I just don't believe in going to church because it's not a part of my life at all and never has been.

I realize I probably sound defensive and I don't mean it that way. I'm just trying to find my legs that have caved in underneath me somehow after having a baby. I never expected to become this vulnerable having a child. I have always been independent because I've never had anyone to depend on from the time I was born.

Having a baby changed all that, or maybe it was the combination of that and this darn economy and difficult housing market.
I had a feeling I shouldn't have responded. Have you ever asked any of your friends to watch your DS for a couple of days when you travel? (not necessarily for free, of course) If not then you can't be sure they'd say no. Asking can't be more stressful than dealing with your DH's antics, right?

Honestly, it seems like the solutions you are looking for are all based on other people/things changing- your DH, the economy, your job. I was only trying to suggest something that help move you into a direction where you felt confident to make changes in your life. I'm sorry if you found my post unhelpful.

And I purposefully put "church or other organization" in case you weren't religious. There are plenty of things to get involved in that aren't religious and I'm sorry if you were offended.
post #22 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
Thanks. Yeah, I fully intend once kindergarten starts and day care costs go away to leave DH unless he makes major and substantial long term changes, which I really doubt he will. That opens the door and makes everything infinitely more possible.

It's just the waiting. Living with him and dealing with work on top of that is just, well, just not good at all.

Actually, I suspect my employers suspect something is amiss. They've offered extra hours, which I've taken, and that has bumped up my pay. They also gave me a raise. Like I said, they are really compassionate. And I am so not on the ball for them, and my educational background and training really are pretty limited for this job. It's a stretch of my intellect and that makes everything so stressful at work.
I do think that's a good plan. I just also worry that you will be really beaten down by then. But I still think it's a good plan. I hope you have secret savings started and your eye out for a cheap rental.

On that note - y'know, if you were doing that badly, I'm guessing they wouldn't be offering extra hours and raises. I think if I were being told things at home like you are, I would doubt myself more.

I was thinking about you and this thread a bit this weekend and I had one thought I don't think I've expressed clearly before. I think you are terrified of poverty because you've lived it.

And it certainly can happen to good, hard-working educated people...but I am not sure your family met all that criteria. You do. I think when you think about the possible consequences of leaving or of having to save for retirement later or in a difference way, you are forgetting that you already have so many more skills and more "stick-to-itness" and more work experience and education and just - capacity. So while I totally think it is wise to have a financial plan, I also think you need to remember that one of the factors that went into your childhood poverty was that the adults were NOT LIKE YOU.

I also think those of us who have chaotic childhoods tend to assume (and this is not always a bad thing) that there will never, ever be help for us when we need it. But sometimes, there is.
post #23 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by woodchick View Post
Have you ever asked any of your friends to watch your DS for a couple of days when you travel? (not necessarily for free, of course) If not then you can't be sure they'd say no. Asking can't be more stressful than dealing with your DH's antics, right?
Yes, yes. TIN, you seem incredibly independent and self-reliant. Perhaps to the point that you are reluctant to lean on other people at all. Given what you've shared about your background, this would not surprise me. But perhaps it would not be so terrible if you started trying to lean a little more on your friends now, to see how it goes. You know, testing the waters of your support system before you take the plunge.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn
I hope you have secret savings started and your eye out for a cheap rental.
That is excellent advice as well.
post #24 of 72
If he's gonna call you a bitch and a cunt when you are super helpful and plan around him, what's the downside to not planning around him?
With therapy and mediation (for you) perhaps you could stand your ground enough to demand what is rightly yours - ie, him taking time off for the children's spring break, financial equality, etc. Or perhaps it's not worth it to live with him if you don't tiptoe and you just need somewhere to vent? That's okay, too.
post #25 of 72
Do you have Head Start available to you? This is usually a free, full-day preschool program. While some of the programs aren't great, there are some that are super. If this is available to you, it would shave a year off your schedule.
post #26 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apricot View Post
If he's gonna call you a b and a c when you are super helpful and plan around him, what's the downside to not planning around him?
With therapy and mediation (for you) perhaps you could stand your ground enough to demand what is rightly yours - ie, him taking time off for the children's spring break, financial equality, etc. Or perhaps it's not worth it to live with him if you don't tiptoe and you just need somewhere to vent? That's okay, too.
Well, but it's more complicated than that. I don't tip toe around him. (I'm sure that is part of the problem).

I do stand my ground (also part of his problem with me).

I do expect things of him and demand things of him. (Another problem he has with me).

But I can't make him do things? Right? That's his own free choice. I can't make him take time off from work.

And if I complained and complained or abandoned my child with him, assuming then he'd take off, well then he might not step up, in which case I'm lending to the neglect, or he might. I guess I don't feel comfortable taking the risk with my child, you know?

Also, we have financial equity. We always have, maybe because DH is mostly hot air with his yelling, threats, and name calling, or maybe because I've claimed it for myself.

I do the finances. I buy what I want and when, within our budget. I am fully aware of the major things. As I said, DH goes off and buys things and hides them, sometimes big ticket items and often small things. He has many hobbies and things he does, like video games, that I don't really feel are in our budget now with a child, and I disapprove of the money and time he spends on it, but he just goes ahead and does it.

But I wouldn't say I'm cowering in the corner, on tip toe, and being financially abused. I'm not.

And, if the housing economy were what it was 10 years ago, I'd have been long gone, and we'd have sold this house, and we'd be living separately. I'm not sure what custody would be.

I had a thought the other night that when I found out I was pregnant, I should have just left and not told him. Little did I know back then how he would act these last few years.
post #27 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by annethcz View Post
Do you have Head Start available to you? This is usually a free, full-day preschool program. While some of the programs aren't great, there are some that are super. If this is available to you, it would shave a year off your schedule.
Yes, we do. From what I've researched and talked to a social service person about, your income has to be lower than what I make even with part time status.

(I believe - please correct me if I am wrong).

I live in a very high cost of living city. I earn a decent amount, which disqualifies me for almost all social services except health care, the food share program/food stamps, and housing (which has a very long wait list and is not accepting new applications at this time). I looked into that last fall again, after looking into it the previous year, as well.

There is a subsidized child care program I would qualify for, but the subsidy is pretty small. Still, it opens up some options possibly, if I could sell my house and then afford an apartment.
post #28 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
I do think that's a good plan. I just also worry that you will be really beaten down by then. But I still think it's a good plan. I hope you have secret savings started and your eye out for a cheap rental.

On that note - y'know, if you were doing that badly, I'm guessing they wouldn't be offering extra hours and raises. I think if I were being told things at home like you are, I would doubt myself more.

I was thinking about you and this thread a bit this weekend and I had one thought I don't think I've expressed clearly before. I think you are terrified of poverty because you've lived it.

And it certainly can happen to good, hard-working educated people...but I am not sure your family met all that criteria. You do. I think when you think about the possible consequences of leaving or of having to save for retirement later or in a difference way, you are forgetting that you already have so many more skills and more "stick-to-itness" and more work experience and education and just - capacity. So while I totally think it is wise to have a financial plan, I also think you need to remember that one of the factors that went into your childhood poverty was that the adults were NOT LIKE YOU.

I also think those of us who have chaotic childhoods tend to assume (and this is not always a bad thing) that there will never, ever be help for us when we need it. But sometimes, there is.
GuildJenn, I want to hug you. Your posts have been so meaningful to me for well over a year. I feel like we'd be really good friends in real life. This post above shows you really do know me. I couldn't make it through your post without crying, and I have tears running down my cheeks right now. This is it, exactly. Exactly what you said. I am terrified of being in poverty again. I see one of my parents who is homeless and rough and worn from too many years living on the street and I know what it is like. My heart aches that I can't save that parent and always keep them safe and warm and fed. And I fear ending up the same way if I don't play all the cards right. Granted, I do not have chemical addictions, and I also have an education, no criminal record, and a job history, but I've never, ever felt so vulnerable as I do in this scary economy with my scary husband. I feel like the whole world caved in and everything changed when I had a baby and I couldn't just jump right up, work hard, and do what I've always done to survive.

I've been thrown for a loop these last few years. The housing market is way different. The job market way different. Everything is so expensive, and my expenses are higher than they've ever been. Everything takes longer because I am doing it for myself and my child. Everything just takes more time and I'm shorter on time than I've ever been.

And really, I'm just starting to feel like myself again after all the breastfeeding and intense parenting of a very little baby.

Thanks so much. You are so kind, so smart, and really seem like such a wonderful person.

And, yes, I do have a savings account in just my name, which I've held for about 3 years now, actually. I have a couple thousand in it. I've also been donating a lot of things and selling a lot of the things I own because I am making a plan to move out. I've donated and/or sold about half of my belongings actually. It's very therapeutic. It makes me feel closer to my ultimate goal. (And I have decluttering and organizational goals anyway for my home).

I've got a list of the very minor possessions I would take with me, and I've actually got most of them boxed and packed, just waiting.

I haven't been able to find a really cheap rental that is in an area I would feel safe sleeping by myself at night. But I have been looking for well over a year. If I can sell the house, I can definitely afford a one-bedroom, and I know of a few studios I can rent with short term leases if things turn really bad. I almost went in March, but I'm focused on a long term solution and that means selling this house.

Thank you. Really, thank you. Thank you so much.
post #29 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by woodchick View Post
I had a feeling I shouldn't have responded. Have you ever asked any of your friends to watch your DS for a couple of days when you travel? (not necessarily for free, of course) If not then you can't be sure they'd say no. Asking can't be more stressful than dealing with your DH's antics, right?

Honestly, it seems like the solutions you are looking for are all based on other people/things changing- your DH, the economy, your job. I was only trying to suggest something that help move you into a direction where you felt confident to make changes in your life. I'm sorry if you found my post unhelpful.

And I purposefully put "church or other organization" in case you weren't religious. There are plenty of things to get involved in that aren't religious and I'm sorry if you were offended.
It's OK. No, I'm glad you responded. Thank you. You're right - I have never asked my friends to take my child for more than half a day. I'll just say it - my child is AD/HD and has more than a mild case of sensory issues. Let's just say my child is one of the most hyper children most of my friends have experienced. And some of them think my child is a bad influence on their kids - like causing them all to get hyper, over excited, and run around like crazed maniacs. It happens all the time.

So, my friends have offered to babysit in the past, and I've taken them up on it, but, you know, no one has offered twice. My kid's a handful. I've asked them a few other times, and sometimes they've said yes, and lately it's mostly no with a polite excuse. And that's fine. I mean, my child wear me out, wears the day care teachers out, wears everyone out.

To ask a friend to take my child for multiple days while I travel is part my reluctance (my child has severe and multiple allergies and I worry about that) and part that I don't want to be a burden. I mean, all the friends I know well enough to ask work themselves and so they'd end up not being able to work their regular hours and have to make up their hours or use vacation or something in order to get their own kids off to day care and then my child off to day care, and then the two pick-ups.

That's a lot to ask someone.

...unless it's being asked of my husband, which I feel he should do because, well, it's his child, too. DH travels for work, too, and he never has to check with me or think about child care. Not ever. What a luxury.
post #30 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
GuildJenn, I want to hug you. Your posts have been so meaningful to me for well over a year. I feel like we'd be really good friends in real life.
I think so too.

The economy is scary and I think you are smart about things - but I also stand by my thoughts that you will be okay regardless, whether you leave tomorrow or next year. It *is* hard right now and there was a huge economic crash - that's reality, not fear. But you will make it.
post #31 of 72
If you do the finances, as you say, and it's within your budget, then maybe line up some childcare for the traveling days, instead of trying to depend on your undependable DH. To me it's very simple. He's shown an unwillingness to step up, so you had to look elsewhere.

A high-quality babysitter would also be good to have in your pocket in case you do end up leaving your husband.
post #32 of 72
Do you qualify for any kind of state-sponsored or nonprofit-sponsored respite services for your child? I don't know that it would help with travel-- though it might, depending on the program-- but it might at least help with some of your extra hours. I don't know how to access those kinds of things, but the people in SN parenting would know.
post #33 of 72
BTW I have absolutely no moral issue with joining a church or other religion just to get the services. None. Especially a more progressive church with room for people who don't agree on everything. I think it's completely fine to do it. So the gospel according to lolar2 says it's OK, FWIW.

p.s. Have you talked to your EAP? They might have SOME childcare ideas.
post #34 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by waiflywaif View Post
If you do the finances, as you say, and it's within your budget, then maybe line up some childcare for the traveling days, instead of trying to depend on your undependable DH. To me it's very simple. He's shown an unwillingness to step up, so you had to look elsewhere.

A high-quality babysitter would also be good to have in your pocket in case you do end up leaving your husband.
Well, his day care doesn't have space the days he doesn't go, which is when my travel overlapped with. So, that's out, even if I paid the extra money.

I've not found any formal daycare arrangements that do overnights or pick-ups later than 6 p.m.

I've looked into it, but it seems easier to just take my child with me, DH and all, as bad as that is.



Plus, the added cost of day care above and beyond what I already pay is really not in the budget, and if I do that for all travel, I'm never going to save up enough to get out of shared living arrangements with DH.
post #35 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lolar2 View Post
BTW I have absolutely no moral issue with joining a church or other religion just to get the services. None. Especially a more progressive church with room for people who don't agree on everything. I think it's completely fine to do it. So the gospel according to lolar2 says it's OK, FWIW.

p.s. Have you talked to your EAP? They might have SOME childcare ideas.
Thanks! That made me chuckle. It is an idea, and one I will look into if it comes to that.

The other thing that I didn't mention about this is that going to church, or wherever, and building relationships with a woman or a couple or maybe retired grandmother distanced from her own grandchildren is that it takes, me at least, a long time before I would really trust a person enough to let them take my child for an overnight stay.

I don't know - what do you all think? How long would you have to know someone, a complete stranger, before you let your child stay with them for a couple of days and nights? For me, it would have to be a long, long time. I mean, my good friends I've known 5 to 10 years. I would not have felt comfortable letting a child of mine stay with them upon meeting them. I would only do it now, after knowing them this long.

Obviously, it's different with a structured, formal day care arrangement licensed and monitored by the state (my qualifications). I don't use in-home services by choice because of the trust and monitoring factor. I've seen some pretty bad human behavior in my life, and I just don't feel like anything is worth risking my child's safety and I have to have a lot of confidence in a person to take good care of them, especially since my child has pretty serious allergies.

That's probably part of my problem with finding good care. The care I use now is super expensive, but I never worry about my child when I'm away and that is a peace of mind I don't find anywhere else.
post #36 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
Actually, I suspect my employers suspect something is amiss. They've offered extra hours, which I've taken, and that has bumped up my pay. They also gave me a raise. Like I said, they are really compassionate. And I am so not on the ball for them, and my educational background and training really are pretty limited for this job. It's a stretch of my intellect and that makes everything so stressful at work.
Dear That is nice,
I just read this post from start to end and I have a feeling you think so low of yourself. You are low balling your skillset and abilities. No employer will keep an employee who has lesser abilities than the job requires for. Not in this economy. And they certainly will not give a raise. And they don't run a charity. Please stop saying that you are not up to par on the job. You certainly are. The raise and longer hours are the proof. Accept it with whole heart.

I also think that your 'peers with more formal education' is adding stress. I know a lot of people who dont have higher formal education but have the abilities to be in the post they are. And those abilities are the sole reason they got the post they are working on. I feel this is how it is in your case, as well. If you feel you don't have certain skill set that could help you with your job, then ask for it. You employer might pay for that training in your regular office timing.

In the mean time, please do not quit your job. Try to empower yourself in other ways - working out, meditation, eating right, yoga, etc. You don't have to fork out big bucks for all these and all these can be done at home when your kid is playing or sleeping.

About community, church is not your only option. Look at nearby meetup groups on meetup.com, for groups that interests you. Take your DD along with you for the meetings. Look at nearby mom groups.. Zero in on your interests and get out and do that and you'll find like minded folks. Look into volunteering as well. There are a million volunteer groups. And some may come with childcare. Step out of the house and meet people. Make connections. Empower yourself.

You say I wouldn't say I'm cowering in the corner, on tip toe, and being financially abused. I'm not. But you are being emotionally abused and it is breaking you down and lowering your self esteem. Please take care.

You may also want to read a few books on emotional abuse... codependency and stuff. Those will help you feel better and give you ideas how to get out of this mess without much damage.

Much hugs to you!!
post #37 of 72
If you haven't done so already, I would stop contributing to your 401k and channel that money to your secret account. I understand retirement is important and that you may be missing out on a company match but you have very serious issues at hand NOW. Having a bigger safety cushion will allow you to make smarter/better choices when you leave. Later on you can find a way to economize and make up a year or two of missed retirement savings.
post #38 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caneel View Post
If you haven't done so already, I would stop contributing to your 401k and channel that money to your secret account. I understand retirement is important and that you may be missing out on a company match but you have very serious issues at hand NOW. Having a bigger safety cushion will allow you to make smarter/better choices when you leave. Later on you can find a way to economize and make up a year or two of missed retirement savings.
Well, I am extremely lucky in that I have an employer-contributed retirement at 100%. The perks of my job really are quite good.

So, I've never contributed from my salary for retirement. Of course, our wages are based on that fact, that retirement is 100% funded, and so the wages are a bit less than I might make somewhere else in the same type of job.
post #39 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shakti77 View Post
Dear That is nice,
I just read this post from start to end and I have a feeling you think so low of yourself. You are low balling your skillset and abilities. No employer will keep an employee who has lesser abilities than the job requires for. Not in this economy. And they certainly will not give a raise. And they don't run a charity. Please stop saying that you are not up to par on the job. You certainly are. The raise and longer hours are the proof. Accept it with whole heart.

I also think that your 'peers with more formal education' is adding stress. I know a lot of people who dont have higher formal education but have the abilities to be in the post they are. And those abilities are the sole reason they got the post they are working on. I feel this is how it is in your case, as well. If you feel you don't have certain skill set that could help you with your job, then ask for it. You employer might pay for that training in your regular office timing.

In the mean time, please do not quit your job. Try to empower yourself in other ways - working out, meditation, eating right, yoga, etc. You don't have to fork out big bucks for all these and all these can be done at home when your kid is playing or sleeping.

About community, church is not your only option. Look at nearby meetup groups on meetup.com, for groups that interests you. Take your DD along with you for the meetings. Look at nearby mom groups.. Zero in on your interests and get out and do that and you'll find like minded folks. Look into volunteering as well. There are a million volunteer groups. And some may come with childcare. Step out of the house and meet people. Make connections. Empower yourself.

You say I wouldn't say I'm cowering in the corner, on tip toe, and being financially abused. I'm not. But you are being emotionally abused and it is breaking you down and lowering your self esteem. Please take care.

You may also want to read a few books on emotional abuse... codependency and stuff. Those will help you feel better and give you ideas how to get out of this mess without much damage.

Much hugs to you!!
Thank you.

It may be the wearing down of my self-confidence. Perhaps.

But, more accurately, I know that I am performing poorly especially under stress of important meetings where the expectations are high and the knowledge base is really the most impressive of my entire career. This really is the most demanding position I've held, and I'm holding it at a time when I have the least amount of mental and emotional capacity to deal with it.

I perform poorly in meetings. I do. I make simple errors on stupid and simple things that make me look unprofessional because I just don't have the time to handle last minute details - if time runs out, as it always seems to - I can't stay late as I always used to do at work. I have to run to pick up my kid from day care. Then try to still put everything together for the meeting after my kid's bedtime when I'm really tired myseld and overlook simple, blaring errors.

Also, I'm really having a hard time with public speaking and presentations these days. Part of it is just being exhausted and worn out by life, parenting and DH, but a big part of it is my skill set. I'm outside my field - quite a bit, actually - and having to discuss and facilitate discussions of issues I know only tangentially about. When the conversations turn back to my direct knowledge in my field, I'm a whiz, energized, and on the ball.

So, I know that I've stretched my education, degree, and experience on this job. Big time. And I just don't have the time and money to invest right now in going back to school.

The answer seems to be to keep this going, despite the stress and embarrassment of underperforming at meetings, or to find a job more in line with my background and degree (in my comfort zone). I'm looking.

This economy is tough.

Thanks so much for the thoughts!!
post #40 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shakti77 View Post

You say I wouldn't say I'm cowering in the corner, on tip toe, and being financially abused. I'm not. But you are being emotionally abused and it is breaking you down and lowering your self esteem. Please take care.

You may also want to read a few books on emotional abuse... codependency and stuff. Those will help you feel better and give you ideas how to get out of this mess without much damage.

Much hugs to you!!
Thank you. Yes, I know that is part of it. I'm really worn down by the name calling, the sexualized name calling. I don't know why it is getting to me so much. My husband uses the word "tw@t" a lot, directed at me. I was unfamilar with this term until recently (naiive, I know). I looked it up. It's another sexualized swear / slang word. He uses them all to me. I can't imagine calling him the male equivalents. Those words are just not in my vocabulary...ever. I swear too sometimes, but I always use the generalized, gender neutral, everyday swear words that would be allowed in a PG movie. I just can't figure out why if DH is mad he can't call me a jerk or even a dumba@@s wouldn't hurt my feelings and make me question everything about him and the marriage, and feel so stuck as the sexualized swear words. They impact me so deeply, and I wish they wouldn't, but they do. They are devastating to hear, not so much that I internalize them and believe what he is saying to me, but that this man I am married to, with whom I share the raising of a child, and with whom the last 15 years of my financial life is intertwined with, has become this monster who lofts these sexualized swear words.

At any point of my life, I would have been turned off from someone who spoke this way, and I would have avoided contact with them deliberately on just that basis alone.

DH says I am overly sensitive and who made me such a princess that my ears can't take that.

But, seriously, husbands don't call their wives tw@ts, typically, right? Where did DH even learn that term? I lived most of my adult life never knowing of it nor hearing it.
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